South Middle School Strengthens Character

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Lynbrook South Middle School students in grades 6-8 celebrated Character Education Day on Oct. 26 with engaging lessons and activities throughout their classes. The day focused on the school’s social and emotional literacy domains which included self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. The goal was to get the students to acknowledge and develop these skills throughout the school day. 

Each teacher wove one or more of the SEL domains into their lessons. Among the many different classroom activities, sixth-graders learned about the power of perception and how not to judge a book by its cover. Seventh-graders learned about the power of communication in connection to relationship building and took personality tests online to determine which traits they possess. They then compared their own results to famous people who have similar character traits and discussed their findings with their peers. In addition, eighth-graders learned about respecting and appreciating differing opinions with an activity where students traveled to certain parts of the room if they agreed, disagreed or felt neutral about a situation. 

“This is important to us and it’s important as a community and society, that’s why we take some time out of the regular day to focus on these skills,” said Principal Joseph Wiener. “We recognize that the way students acquire skills is through practice so the ongoing work that we will do after this week will be continuing to give students feedback about their social emotional literacy and recognizing when they are applying the lessons and the competencies that we have described to them. We are also giving them expectations for what we expect people to do in our community. That’s really important for keeping communities together with a common vision.”